June 2016


Any and all wildlife. You can send them by e-mail here. Photographs are very welcome

Grebe number 69 is now available in the Members Only section. 

Reminder: It is a criminal offence to disturb any nesting bird. 
Please be extra vigilant around the reservoirs during the breeding season. 

Tuesday 28th June 2016.
Roy Hargreaves - This morning was very pleasant – albeit it damp underfoot. The number of visible young Little Egrets continues to fluctuate and I could only see ten this morning. I couldn’t see the Black-necked Grebe, but it is known to skulk under the bushes in the middle. The tern raft held one young Oystercatcher, three young Black-headed Gulls and two young Lesser black-backed Gulls and a number of young Common Terns
Not a lot else of note although my statement about my last encounter with a Little Owl being unique appears to have been premature. This time it was closer and the light was better, but I didn’t get it all my own way as the light was best today when the Little Owl had foliage in front of it. Even so it would be churlish to complain too much as today’s photos surpassed my last encounter’s results. 
Little Owl by Roy Hargreaves

Little Owl by Roy Hargreaves

Sunday 26th June 2016.
Roy Hargreaves - Having failed to see the Black-necked Grebe on Wilstone early afternoon, despite what seemed like a thorough search, I popped back again this evening to see it was visible. 
On the earlier visit I counted at least thirteen young Little Egrets, they have been slowly been increasing in number this week as more make themselves visible. I also saw a Common Sandpiper on a shooting butt.

This evening as well as the Black-necked Grebe showing between the rows of barley bales, two Hobbies were hawking insects among the numerous Common Terns. So the grebe was still present at 20:30 at least.

Some pictures from James Heron. 
Emerald Damselfly by James Heron

Goldfinch on the canal by the flour mill by James Heron

Moorhen Chick on the canal by the flour mill by James Heron

Tringford Family by James Heron

Greylag family by James Heron

Oystercatcher at Wilstone by James Heron

Mallardish by James Heron

Worn out Robin (ticks?) by James Heron

Tuesday 21st June 2016.
Sally Douglas - I very rarely walk along the canal behind Marsworth Reservoir so it was nice to see that breeding is in full swing! Also seen were pair of Mute Swans and 5 cygnets, Reed Bunting, Whitethroat and a Red Kite carrying something being pursued by several crows.
Moorhen and chicks by Sally Douglas

Linnet by Sally Douglas

Linnet by Sally Douglas

Mallard and chicks by Sally Douglas

Monday 20th June 2016.
David Hutchinson - Swallow at startops today.
Swallow by David Hutchinson

Monday 14th June 2016.
Lynne Lambert (Tring Ringing Group) - The tit boxes at the TWTW reserve have told a sorry tale this year. I checked them last Saturday and of the 6 boxes there, one was not used, one held a large clutch of very small dead blue tits that had been dead a few weeks, three other boxes all held small broods of dead great tits that had died very recently just before fledging and only one box had chicks still alive – a small brood of three blue tits with a fourth dead in the box.
The previous week had been very cold and wet and no doubt the weather meant the adults could not find enough food for their chicks. Broods which managed to fledge before the weather turned nasty may have survived better, but I do not expect to see many parties of juvenile tits around the reservoirs this year.

Friday 10th June 2016.
Sally Douglas - Had a search around Startops for Yellow Wagtails but only saw a pair of Grey's. The female looked as if she still had a brooding patch. Went on to Wilstone to try for a Spotted Flycatcher - also no luck but nice to see Barnacle - will try and see Scoter next week. Cuckoo still calling at the back and a Yellowhammer singing his heart out - he did have a left foot! 
Barnacle Goose by Sally Douglas

Yellowhammer by Sally Douglas

Grey Wagtail by Sally Douglas

Grey Wagtail by Sally Douglas

Grey Wagtail by Sally Douglas

Grey Wagtail by Sally Douglas

Thursday 9th June 2016.
Roy Hargreaves - This morning it was misty in Tring, but for a change as I walked down to Wilstone Res it wasn’t as misty down there. As I walked along the Dry Canal a Little Owl flew away from me to the other side of the canal, but as I approached it surprisingly didn’t fly off. It just sat there and looked at me. I spent a long time taking photos as this seemed like a unique opportunity. It did move eventually but I didn’t seem to be the cause and when I walked to where it was it stayed put and I took more photos and indeed I left it sat there as I resumed my walk. Between the Waddesdon Estate Gate and Cemetery Corner there was a Spotted Flycatcher calling and perched on top of a smallish tree/bush. It would seem that there could be as many as three pairs round the reservoir – although I have only seen a definite pair at Startops. By the hide I heard but didn’t see Spotted Flycatcher and also a family party of Treecreepers.
What was also interesting for me was hearing and seeing a Reed Warbler at Miswell Farm in the hedge above the Dry Canal on my way home – a fairly long way from the reservoir and theoretically not on passage. 
Little Owl by Roy Hargreaves

Monday 6th June 2016.
Johne Taylor - Lesser black-backed sitting tight as is a Black-headed it seems I counted a minimum of 20 terns  also looking intent on breeding The Oystercatchers are feeding young without doubt. Several juvenile Chiffs Robins Dunnocks and Long tailed tits caught Sunday  

Monday 6th June 2016.
Roy Hargreaves - On Sunday afternoon the highlight of the WeBS count was not wildfowl but a large number of raptors. I counted at least 25 Red Kites and five or more Buzzards over the field round Wilstone Res as the meadows were being cut. Wildfowl was it was unexciting but interesting to note that Lesser Black-backed Gulls appear to be nesting on one tern raft. I what looked like a young Oystercatcher on another tern raft – although the view wasn’t good.
Also Yellow Wagtails are breeding near Startops and there is a vocal Spotted Flycatcher by the hide and in the nearby meadow at Wilstone Res. I can hear the flycatcher and usually see it when I am there in the mornings.

Thursday 2nd June 2016.
Phill Luckhurst - The horrible weather bought the usual masses of Swift, Swallows and Martins to all the reservoirs today. I sat at Startops and Tringford trying hard to get some decent shots of them in the poor light but is was hard work. Fantastic fun to watch them, especially with the occasional visits from Hobby trying to grab one. I think it succeeded on one attack run but it was a bit too distant to see what it grabbed.
House Martin by Phill Luckhurst

Pied Wagtail by Phill Luckhurst

Sand Martin by Phill Luckhurst

Swift by Phill Luckhurst

The strong winds were washing up a lot of foam and weeds on Startops. This seemed to be great for the Wagtails, both Grey and Pied, along with the House Sparrows which seemed to be finding loads of insects in the detritus. I wonder if anyone can tell what the insects in the sparrows beak is? This seemed to be what they were mainly feeding on in the rocks.

House Sparrow by Phill Luckhurst

 Over at Tringford the firs thing I notices was a Black Swan. The Mute Swans seemed to be aggressive towards it when it got a bit close to them but otherwise it seemed to be enjoying its visit. While trying to photograph the House Martins I could hear a lot of noise from the gulls above. This was due to the arrival of a Marsh Harrier who was seemingly being mobbed by every gull at Tringford. It didn't stay long and headed towards Wilstone when I lost sight of it.

Black Swan by Phill Luckhurst

Marsh Harrier by Phill Luckhurst

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